This chapter shows you how to generate an InfoPath form for use in SharePoint. The following chapters expand on the functionality and options available.
The first step to create SharePoint forms is to open InfoPath Designer. From there, you have a number of options. When designing a new form, you have the following template options:
- SharePoint List: Use this template to generate an interface for interacting with a SharePoint list. The generated form can create the actual list in SharePoint.
- SharePoint Form Library: Use this template to generate a form library that stores instances of your form from user input. The content type of this form library is your form template.
- E-mail: Use this template to generate a form that can be used within emails.
- Blank Form: This is the base web browser form template used to generate SharePoint forms from scratch.
- Blank Form (InfoPath Filler): This base client form template is used to generate forms that require users to have InfoPath installed locally on their computers. The forms created using this template are not rendered in a web browser.
- Database: Use this template to quickly create a form based on a database table from Access or SQL Server.
- Web Service: Use this template to generate a form that queries a web service for information.
- XML or Schema: This template is used to easily replicate the data structure of an XML file or schema (XSD).
- Data Connection File: Use this template to quickly generate a form that uses a data connection file stored in SharePoint.
- Convert Existing Form: The name is confusing, because you would think this is used to convert an existing InfoPath form, but this template actually uses converters to import Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel documents and convert them into InfoPath forms.
- Document Information Panel: InfoPath now makes it easier to customize input into Office documents based on SharePoint columns. Use this template to generate the data entry portion of a Microsoft Office document that is stored within a SharePoint library and contains additional fields for user entry.
- Blank 2007 Form: Use this form to create a web-based InfoPath 2007 form.
- Blank 2007 Form (InfoPath Filler): Use this form to create a client-based InfoPath 2007 form. Users need InfoPath 2007 installed locally on their computers.
Design a SharePoint Form Using the Blank Form Template
Solution: When you open InfoPath Designer 2010, you are automatically taken to the File, New page, as shown in Figure 2.1. Either double-click Blank Form or select the Blank Form button, and click the Design Form button to create a new blank form.
Figure 2.1 The New page provides templates for designing new forms.
To design a simple form, follow these steps:
- Click the Click to Add Title text that appears and enter a title for the form.
- Click in the bottom section of the form where it states Add Tables.
- Click the Insert ribbon bar menu and select the Two-Column 4 table in the Tables section. This is a layout table that assists in aligning the labels and controls on your form.
- Click the File menu and select Save.
- Enter a name for the form file and click OK. This will save a local copy of the form.
We now have a base form to which we can start adding controls, as shown in Figure 2.2.
Figure 2.2 Entering a title and adding a layout table to a form produces a base form.